I enjoy reading literary magazines and keeping up on new writing. There are so many out there that chosing ones to subscribe to is difficult. I prefer to read a variety of literary magazines, which is easy to do if you are submitting to writing contests. Often, the entry fee includes a year’s subscription. By submitting to a variety of contests, I have a nice flow of different reading materials coming to my door.
Of course, the upside for the publisher in including a year’s subscription is that people may opt to continue their subscriptions beyond the year. I usually fight the urge knowing if I subscribed to a lot of magazines, I would be overwhelmed. I already feel overwhelmed by all I want to read.
That said, I have been a long-time subscriber to Ploughshares. Despite having rotating editors, I find a consistent quality to what they publish. Recently, I have subscribed to Rattle: Poetry for the 21st Century. I like that they balance a variety of contemporary poetry, interviews, and a section with a particular theme. The issue I just finished included a section about Cowboy Poetry, which, being relatively new to the southwest, I found intriguing.
What I also like about Rattle is that they offer a lot of their poetry online through their site and their blog. Interesting how putting up content for free is part of what enticed me to subscribe to the print. But that’s a whole other line of thought.
Also, by having their poetry online, Rattle gives me the opportunity to link to some of my favorite poems from the Winter 2008 issue (see, too overwhelmed to keep up):
- Scarlet, by Sherman Alexie
- Considering the Trebonites, by Dick Allen
- On the Poverty of My Imagination, by Tiffany Beechy
- Dear Internal Revenue Service, by John Brehm
- Nameless Boy, by Douglas Goetsch